Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nothing Will Ever Be Perfect

I have always been drawn to imperfection.

When I was six years old I was at my sisters highland dance competition and my Mom treated me to a toy from the vendors to keep me content for the day. I chose a little stuffed koala bear (why a koala bear was at a highland dance competition, I'm not sure). When i brought the koala back to my seat with me I noticed that he wasn't perfect. He was missing two of his little felted black paw pads. I showed my Mom and she took me to exchange him for a perfect one. When I got back to my seat with my now perfect koala bear, instead of being content I was sad. I felt bad for the imperfect one. I worried that he wouldn't ever find a home. I told my Mom about my worries and she sweetly took me to exchange the koala again for my original imperfect one.

I have always been drawn to the imperfect. If something is twisted, crinkled, rusted, ripped or slightly off center and it finds it's way to me then it has likely found a home. I think the imperfectness of a hand made object is magical. I think that loving someone who knows the truth of their flaws is enlightening. Imperfection has so much more truth in it then perfection. At the end of the day I want to know that my day was real, raw, honest, and authentic. I don't care if it was perfect. Nothing will ever be perfect. One of my favourite writers Kelly Diels talks about how the conditions for creativity will never be ideal. I think this translates to all aspects of life - the conditions for falling in love will never be perfect, the conditions for taking risk will never be perfect.

I create objects with my two hands in a small studio space shared with 3 other jewelers, in a windowless old warehouse in east Vancouver. But when I sit at my bench and start to hammer metal I'm in the most beautiful, serene place and I create things that mean something.

enameled necklace

When I was six years old and that little koala with the missing felted paw pads was in my arms again, I was finally content. I knew that the imperfect koala was meant to be mine. I knew that for my heart to love something it didn't have to be perfect.....It just had to feel right.

ps. This post was inspired by my online friend and fellow maker of jewelry with meaning, Amy Ambroult, you can check out her beautiful blogpost that inspired me here and you can see her authentic jewelry here. Thanks Amy.

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  1. aw, Patsy, Such a sweet story here. How funny that you remember that bear, and your feelings toward it so well. Sounds like one of those "moments" where you realize something BIG about life. And your words ring true with me, too. Conditions will never be perfect for falling in love, creating, anything. I used to think that though.
    But now? well you know how I feel about all things imperfect ;)

    thanks so very much for the shout out. You're the best!

    p.s. I just saw that Vancouver was voted the most livable city in the world (again) and now have dreams of moving my family there. How great would it be to meet over a cup of tea, art-school scented candle lit for ambiance ;)

  2. Thanks Amy! Yes, it's funny which moments we remember from childhood. I can look back on that moment and see that at 6 I was just so incredibly "me" already....drawn to imperfection, full of empathy, and a little indecisive...tehehe.

    Vancouver IS an amazing city to live in. Come on up! I'll have a pot of tea ready for you. :)